I don’t know for sure, but our Lady SatNav sure seems intent on showing us a lot of Scotland. It hasn’t failed yet that we always end up on some narrow back road in the middle of nowhere with a ridiculous speed limit of 60 mph. I’m sure she thinks she’s sending us on the fastest route, but the significantly reduced speeds I’ve been driving those roads surely negates any possible time benefit they could possibly have provided. There was one point today when I just had to put my foot down, so to speak, and say hell no, not taking THAT road. Now, there is the benefit that we did, in fact, see a lot of Scotland’s fantastic scenery. To be more precise, Dan saw a lot of Scotland’s scenery. I was too busy keeping my eyes on the road.
Shieldhill Castle Hotel provided a very nice breakfast before our departure today. Our first stop was at Culzean Castle (pronounced kul-EEN — again with the unnecessary letters; I’m sure they do it just to mess with foreigners). The castle and grounds were truly amazing. The castle is built in a cliff side promontory (that’s beginning to look like our unintended theme) on the west coast of the island, south of Glasgow. It was built by the Kennedy family (not the US presidential one, although they are from the area), and designed by an architect by the name of Robert Adams. Adams was pretty much given free reign to do what he liked with the buildings, and it is said it was his crowning achievement. President Eisenhower stayed there often, calling it his Scottish Whitehouse. The place has been extremely well cared for, and it is now operated by the National Trust of Scotland. There are numerous artefacts throughout the building, and guided tours are available. There are even a number of suites in the uppermost floors available to stay in. When Dan and I win the lottery we’ll come back and stay there for a few days.
Next stop was Troon. It is on the beach there where Outlander filmed the scenes where Jamie, Claire, and Murdoch leave Scotland for France. It is also where Dan and I had a light lunch, at a small place called Blueberry Cafe, and where I finally found a place that had cupcakes. For whatever reason I’ve been craving a cupcake during this entire trip. The town is comfortable, the beach is huge, and the view, even on a cloudy day like today, is gorgeous.
We’re staying tonight at the Ashtree House Hotel, which is actually a little fancier than I expected. Nice, for our last night in Scotland. We had a fantastic supper at the College Bar just around the corner.